An announcement to anyone who has any interest in fashion, photography, women, beauty, New York, clothing history, history history, style or French street sweeper garb; Bill Cunningham New York is a documentary that you simply must not miss.
Photograph by Scott Schuman
Now in his eighties, Cunningham began his career as a candid fashion photographer in the 1970s, flitting between shnazzy events and the sidewalks to find his subjects. He is still working, now for the New York Times, and his enthusiasm for fashion along with his vigorous approach to capturing it on film (yup, no digital here) are enough to delight even the most jaded fashion types.
Before becoming a photographer Cunningham was a milliner, selling his wares under the label 'William J', as his family didn't approve of the venture. I've had a look on the webs and only found one example of his wares, here.
Innocuous enough a piece, you'll agree. But check out the inside:
Oh and here's one for the fashion nerds; you may notice that the spectacular I-don't-know-what, Iris Apfel (who has been photographed by Cunningham on numerous occasions over the years) is interviewed in the film wearing a rather fabulous toucan brooch. This one, in fact:
Or is it this one?:I'm not sure because they look exactly the same, and therein lies the problem. You see, one of these brooches was created by the french jewellery designer Hanna Bernhard and subsequently bought and worn by Apfel herself:
The other was sold as part of a collection that Iris Apfel 'designed' for the Home Shopping Network. Hmm. I'm guessing (based on time stuff) that Apfel is wearing Bernhard's original in the movie. Who knows, maybe Bill Cunningham New York will be used as evidence in a copyright case - and honestly if that means more people will watch the film, I'm all for it. It's the best thing I've seen all year and manages to be funny, inspiring, joyous and astonishing all at once.